Wildlife Photo Contest Big Four

There are few things that can match the sheer unadulterated thrill of entering a wildlife photo contest and actually winning something.

Having your wildlife photographic efforts recognised by your peers is a great bonus to what is already a very rewarding and enjoyable pastime. And the prizes you can win aren't half bad either.

I've set up a list of the top four wildlife photo contest opportunities that are available presently for you to showcase your best wildlife pictures in.

They are ranked according to reputation and the collective wisdom of wildlife photographers gleaned from forums, magazines, photography websites and word of mouth...

  • 1. Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    This is the 'big daddy' of all wildlife photo contests. If you win this one you can justifiably claim that your wildlife photo is the best in the world (at least for a year that is). There are 11 categories to enter your pictures into.

    Young photographers can also enter - there are three age groups: 10 years and under, 11-14 years, and 15-17 years.


    If your image is judged to be the most striking of the entire competition you will receive £10,000 and and a whole lot of prestige which you could probably parlance into monetary terms (or you could just enjoy being nr 1) because this competition carries real weight in the wildlife photography industry.

    Each category winner and runner-up will also recieve a monetary reward.

    The overall Young winner will receive £1000, a trophy and a certificate. Each Young category winner and runner up will also recieve a monetary reward.

    The winning and commended photographs appear on the National History Museum's website, in the BBC Wildlife Magazine and publications worldwide. There is also a major exhibition at the Museum that tours worldwide throughout the year.

    Duration and number of entrants:

    This nature photography contest occurs only once a year and the closing date is normally the end of February with winners announced in March.

    Up to 40,000 entries from over 90 countries have been received so you can expect stiff competition.


    Organised by the Natural History Museum in London, UK and BBC Wildlife Magazine since 1964.

    Specific Entry Requirements:

    Professional and amateur photographers from across the globe can enter online.

    Find out more about this prestigious wildlife photo contest...

  • 2. National Geographic Photo Contest

    Photos can be entered into three different categories: people, places and nature.


    Each of the three category winners receive a monetary prize and have their photograph published in the National Geographic Magazine. The overall grand prize winner receives an additional monetary reward as well as a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar.

    Organisers and Sponsors:

    National Geographic Partners.

    Specific Entry Requirements:

    Photographs must be in digital format.

    Find out more...

  • 3. Nature's Best Photography Awards

    Contests and Prizes:

    Picture of the Week Online competition: winning images will be featured on their website for one week and receive a free one-year subscription to Nature's Best Photography magazine.

    The Annual Windland Smith Rice International Awards: the winners of each awards category and a selection of highly honoured images are displayed to millions of visitors in a popular annual exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

    Organisers and Sponsors:

    Nature's Best Photography magazine in alliance with the prestigious Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (USA).

    More info about these contests

  • 4. The Getaway Gallery Photographer of the Year


    An overall winner is chosen from all the monthly submissions that make the grade and the value of prizes available is normally over R150 000, depending on the sponsors.


    Monthly entries with the award winning photographs chosen and published in January.


    The Getaway magazine based in South Africa.

    Specific Entry Requirements:

    Only photographs taken in Africa and its islands will be considered because the contest is aimed primarily at promoting amateur photography in Africa. There are three categories for entry: wildlife, landscapes and culture.

    Find out more...